Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Introvert vs Extrovert

I have always been surrounded by people until recently. The one thing I have always craved was solitude…just wanted to be alone.

Now there are two basic types of personalities in this world. The introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people and the extrovert who is energized by being around other people and tends to fade without the human interaction.

One of the things I have noticed living down here is that if I go more than a few days without seeing anyone I quickly drop into a funk and have a hard time focusing or really getting anything done. But if I run to town for a cup of coffee in the morning then the rest of the day turns out real productive even enjoyable.

Online interaction helps but still does not give me the fix I get from being around people even for a few minutes. I don’t even need to talk with the people just being around them works. So, am I really a closet extrovert or is it simply habit developed over a lifetime of city living. I still crave the solitude and love it but apparently need that human interaction.

I bring this up because understanding your personality requirements before you jump headlong into a life removed from society will help you better prepare. If you truly are an extrovert then relocating to a farm forty miles from the nearest neighbor might not be the best move for you. But the true introvert would thrive in that environment.

If you as an introvert pick up and move the family to the wilderness and your partner is an extrovert who must have human interaction the marriage will not last through the winter. Even moving your family out of the city for protection can be a bad move if one of you cannot mentally thrive without that interaction. You can still make the move but you need to plan for the personality needs of everyone in your party.

Your neighbors are also important is this discussion. Can you just drop by and visit…maybe have them over for a beer or are they hardcore survivalists locked within a fenced compound.

A big standard for my move out of the consumer society was not to simply survive but to thrive. It is not enough to be able feed, cloth and shelter yourself. You must mentally thrive or you will fail.


HermitJim said...

Certainly something to think about! Some folks don't do well with keeping themselves company...

I guess that everyone's vision of peace and quiet should be carefully defined before any permanate moves are made!

Good post!

Mockum said...

Yep, I'm an introvert and am that way too. In fact, I could have written this entry. Maybe I did. It's interesting that's it's not even necessary to talk with people to get the desired effect. I find, too, that just leaving the house for a short errand in the morning helps motivate me. If I don't, I'll waste the day doing not much of anything. I mentioned this to an introvert girlfriend once and she was the same way.

I don't think this means your a closet extrovert (not that any extrovert would stay in a closet!). There is something other than energy that is gained by venturing out.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree here - it gets awfully lonesome if you are used to having company. I it used to be I could take my own company for about a week before I really missed it. Used to take some semi-long term hunting trips by myself, so that was a fairly common occurence.

That was when I was single - now, when wife and kids are gone even visiting overnight, I miss them. Or maybe its the din / mayhem that occurs, lol. But I feel their absence. I guess I've become more of a social creature.

What helped me a lot was playing the radio, especially if a good station could be found. Even a campfire can be a companion, though I draw the line at having a conversation with it (why did you burn my food). Tom Hanks companion Wilson was creepy!

Good post Bear - have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Introverts stare at their shoes and Extrovert stare at your shoes